II. The birth in the French bulldog
The calving in French bulldogs is special and often complicated. You may have to do two types of calving:
A. Has. By Caesarean:
This technique is very common for the calving of French bulldogs because the size of the heads of small bulldogs often makes the calving by low means complicated, even dangerous. Talk to your veterinarian at the time of pregnancy screening to assess, through a size x-ray of the skeletons of the puppies, whether it is important for your dog to have a cesarean section or not.
If a caesarean section is to be scheduled, it will take place around the term date. This calving technique costs between 500 and 900 euros (all-inclusive). You should know that it is performed under general anaesthesia and therefore that it is not without risk for the female bulldog. As we know, general anaesthesia with intubation is riskier in breeds of crushed nose type like the French bulldog.
If you decide to let things happen naturally, be alert to the warning signs of calving. If the time has come for your dog to give birth, she will be keen to “make a nest” a few hours before.
She will turn several times on herself, return, scratch several times the towels or plaids that you have made available to her in her calving crate, and then eventually settle their panting as if she had just run a marathon.
His condition is not going to calm down, his breathing and heart rate will continue to increase. It may take several hours (between 2am and 12pm) before the first cub deigns to show up.
If after 10 hours, no puppies are out, it may be that one of them blocks the passage and that an emergency caesarean section is required. (You can now find out about veterinary emergency solutions near you: location, phone number, travel time, etc.).
Once the first puppy is out, she will tear the pouch that encloses the puppy and then lick it briskly to clear his breathing voices and stimulate his breathing. If, however, she does not do so on her own at the time of the puppies’ expulsion, it will be up to you to help her and do it to her.
Don’t be surprised to see the dog eating the pouch as well as the bits of umbilical cords, they contain very nutritious elements for her. Once out and awake, you can put the puppies to the mother’s nipples, they will be ready to suckle immediately after their release.
As mentioned above, if you choose this method of calving, be aware that this does not exclude the possibility of an emergency caesarean section (this is a possible budget to be prepared as soon as you are sure that your female French bulldog is in gestation).
III. My experience
This is what happened to my female Sacha! It had its first litter last July.
We had chosen to let her give birth on her own, with our help if necessary, in her calving crate. But after 5 hours spent “nesting” and gasping, I lost patience for her and imagined the worst (it’s hard to assess the pain in her pet, she didn’t moan but she was out of breath for too long for me. Also, I was pregnant at the time so I was even more sensitive to what she could go through.)
So, I went with her to the veterinary emergency room. They did not want to take any risks given Sacha’s race and performed an emergency caesarean section. And my faith, it went very well! I dropped her off at 6 a.m., she came out in the early afternoon with her 4 little puppies!